I'm a freelance writer, living in the Mooloolaba area, and enjoying the chance to promote its attractions.
Published February 16th 2013
Good coffee shop and what's beyond the back door
So there you are, 1094 Steve Irwin Way (on the old Bruce Highway), just outside of Glasshouse Mountains township, between places, and wanting a coffee and a snack. What good fortune! You're beside Glasshouse Coffee and Tea Merchants , a surprising 'hole in the wall' café run by a master barista. You'll see a wheelie-board sign before the shop, which otherwise, you might miss. The shop itself has a small, unassuming frontage - two plate glass windows and black and white livery - but behind it, you'll be refreshed on the truth of 'never judge a book by its cover'.
Past the door, you see immediately a small servery area, French modern in its simplicity - a couple of chic tables and chairs, replete with voguish magazines, some shelves with collectible espresso machines (Look for the 'Atomic': pure 50's in design and function), display cabinet of treats, and Steve, the barista.
But, look to the shop-back. You'll see a doorway, and a step past it makes Glasshouse Coffee and Tea Merchants a 'destination', and not just one more 'between places' stop. Steve has made a little ferny enclave out back of the shop. Its shade and leafy greens make for a restful retreat.
Here, patrons can relax on a comfortable lounge setting on a wooden deck area, or enter the garden area proper, to little umbrella 'island' seatings for 4, bordered by a wooden fence adorned with authentic coffee sacks.
It's surprisingly secluded and quiet - except for every Sunday afternoon fortnight, 1 – 3 pm. Then, the Glasshouse Music Club hosts an 'open mike' session where local musos perform 'folk', 'pop' and blues, free.
But, back to the barista: Steve's done some globe-trotting and knows his beans. His, and his technique, make coffee a commodity of Moroccan descent – you know, 'more-ish'. For sure, Steve knows coffee isn't just something to colour hot water and milk. Made right, like he does, it's ambrosia for mere mortals; and, for the peckish, Steve provides a small menu of cakes, slices, sandwiches and quiches.
Glasshouse Coffee and Tea Merchants is open Tuesday to Sunday, 8 – 5. It's not big. It's not obvious, but it's certainly worth a visit, especially for coffee lovers and travellers wanting a 'green' rest from the tourist drive.